Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Holi crap!

Somehow the charm of throwing coloured toxic powders at each other does not appeal to me any more. So i decided to give the festival a skip and happily hopped, skipped and jumped into my relative's house, not because my relatives are fun to be with but because i have been in a generally buoyed state for the last couple of weeks. Like i had said in the earlier post, it seems to be because i have been doing so much nothing. As protection against the monster of boredom i carried with me Helen Keller's autobiography. The book only made me more acutely conscious of how blessed i am and added to my gung-ho state of mind.

Holi had its share of surprises for me. I had expected people, my wingmates, would have the decency and common sense to go and play in the quadrangle. Instead they've played in the wing itself and all the clothes i had hung in the corridor clothes line are now smeared with colour, or soaking in that pink metallic crap. So much for sensible IITians. Also, so much for my forgiving nature! Yair well, i am not looking to socialise too much anyways. I realise i've been wrong all along in trying to make friends and all. I just expect too much of everyone. Perhaps even myself. So i am being unfair in that i still am my own friend. Here's to my health!

I also got a bump today from a university. My second response from over the seas,and both have been bumps so far. This second university actually gave a fellow to a chappie who's got a CG of 0.15 above me and a paper but a bump to me! I guess a paper makes all the difference. Besides, it is true that i haven't done too much research in my UG. Enthusiastic fellas like him started off in their second year. Does it seem like i am complaining? At any rate, it does seem like i am unable to think of anything or anyone except my own self. Egotistic. So i think i should say a little something about someone or something totally disconnected with me. Just to keep a mental balance and not lose the woods for the trees(or is it the other way?).

Too many people have analysed the supposed 'greatest match ever' in their blogs and i don't want to be repetitious, though i doubt if i have any audience at all. So, what neutral topic could i possibly pick on the 15th of March, 2006? Oh, apparently yesterday was 'Consumer day'. I haven't bothered to verify it. Hell, every day has some significance somewhere in the world now and all i care is that i have something to start with. It is rather obvious that the world is becoming increasingly consumerist. But i somehow feel we are just a bunch of blind comsumers not knowing what to do with all those big pay checks we receive for the donkey work we do. Just take the simple example of the soft drinks. Two MNCs totally dominate the market. There have been allegations that they contain pesticides. It is known, for certain, that its just water and gas and a little flavouring. What, in terms of pure raw material cost, is probably worth around 10 paise. The rest is profit reducing whatever little processing cost is there. In spite of every one of us 'educated' people being well aware of this we just can't have enough of these drinks. Rather, we turn a blind eye to these facts and head straight for them. I am sure if you go to the local 'kirana' stores that have both bottled water and bottled drinks and ask them the ratio of sales its going to be 100 to 1 in favour of the drinks. The soft drinks don't even quench our thirst thanks to that horrible flavouring agent they throw in there. So, just why exactly are we buying these drinks? Just because their names sound appealing? Purely out of habit? Well, in that case, how did the habit form? What about the times before coke and pepsi? I guess if its a habit now, then it started as a desire to possess what the west possessed. It started with the usual and inane desire to ape, then it became a habit to utter those names, as if hypnotised by them, as if those soft drinks were drugs that were needed by our system for our survival. Is that it? If not, then what? How and why have these worse-than-regurgitated-matter drinks come to dominate our lives so much?

Hmm....that gives me an idea, next post, i'll choose that other set of drinks, the addictive ones, the ones responsible for so much of the regurgitated matter generated by men, to discuss. So long.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Absorbing time

I don't know if the phrase that i have used in the title exists but i couldn't think of any phrase that would describe more aptly what i have been doing for the last week or thereabouts. Perhaps its just a polished way of saying i have been doing nothing of any consequence. But now i have doubts if i should do anything of consequence. If i can do 'so much nothing' and be perfectly happy that way, then why not stick to it? In fact, this is one of the questions that came up during a discussion with one of my wiser friends. Isn't it a sad irony that the more knowledgeable people are, the more unhappy they become? Perhaps that is a very misleading statement. It isn't because they are more knowledgeable that they are more unhappy but because when they are more knowledgeable they also have more expectations and, hence, more unfulfilled wishes. So ignorance is bliss after all and if the purpose of so many of us is happiness then aren't we actually working against our very purpose by this relentless pursuit of knowledge? Are we not better of living a life with more faith and less scepticism. With less questions and more beliefs? With less knowledge and more ignorance? Being less humans and more animals?

I am reading 1984 now and i find that somehow i like almost any dystopic novel. Its not so much the specifics as the very idea of the a dystopic novel that appeals to me at some level. The negative utopia is somehow more imaginable to me than a utopia. Besides, i wouldn't even call it a negative utopia. If one minuses the few exaggerations made for market value and removes all the veneer of words made by the powerful people in this world one finds that the novels actually depict the naked reality to a large extent. It is sad that writers and patrons of such novels are dismissed as cynics and sceptics.

As we are coming to the close of our lives as UGs someone had asked me whether i ever feel as if suddenly every routine activity is so full of significance? Whether every mundane conversation is full of meaning? I had said a spontaneous no, but i realise i was wrong then. I suddenly feel i am going to miss a lot. Its only when one draws a comparison with things that are worse that one realises the value of what one has. Having stayed within the protective walls of the campus for so long the campus was my world and little did i realise that it is in utopia that i live. I haven't even been reading the papers so that i never got a chance to compare with the hell outside. But that brings me to this important point that the significance of everything is in the way one perceives it. I have been in utopia so long and i had nothing to compare with so that it didn't seem like anything special. Even so, there was this bizarre cricket match recently with almost 900 runs being scored in 100 overs of an international match and i happened to see nothing but the last 40 balls of the chasing team's performance in a jam packed common room. It was incredible to see how every one in the room was excited to a frenzy, furiously supporting either SA or Aus, and forming cliques shouting at each other and at the rival of the team they were supporting and how every run generated so much noise and yet, how it all made so little difference to me. It just occured to me that had i been there from the start i was sure to have been as excited and passionate as any one of them but because i had not been exposed to the excitement of the match the climax evoked almost no excitement in me. It also brought me to the important issue of discretion. There is too many things that the average individual can expose himself to during the course of a lifetime and the individual must exercise some discretion in his choice so that it all contributes to his greater good and to his greater purpose. Of course, if one has no such purpose, then one can happily expose oneself randomly to whatever experience pounces upon one and get moulded without direction. Only, then, one would be born clay and die clay, having been moulded into nothing recognisable, nothing acknowledgeable. In short, one might as well not have been there. Also, the issue of dying out from the institute made me thinking of death and i guess it must feel the same. One reaches a stage when everything becomes significant to one. Everything is so full of memories and meaning and life and the thought of death is so painful that one wants to jealously take in all one can for the life after(?).

Hmm....this is as flighty as thoughts can get. Feels good to have blogged after a really long time.